ATLANTA, GA — Georgia posted nearly 3,800 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 in its daily report Saturday, marking the 16th time since the pandemic began that the state has topped 3,000 cases.
Georgia also reported 53 more deaths caused by the coronavirus, bringing the state’s total close to 3,500.
Saturday’s report follows single-day records on Friday: 4,813 newly confirmed cases and 82 more deaths.
Those who test positive for COVID-19 don’t necessarily become ill — in some cases, they may not even show symptoms — but they can spread the coronavirus to others who are vulnerable.
Georgia’s health department also reported 277 more hospitalizations Saturday, pushing the total hospitalizations past 17,000 for the first time.
The spike in new cases comes as Georgia’s governor and Atlanta’s mayor continue to negotiate a truce over who can mandate face masks.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Friday that talks between Gov. Brian Kemp and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms have stalled over Bottoms requiring masks throughout Atlanta. The newspaper reports that Kemp was willing to let Bottoms require masks in government buildings but not everywhere else.
The negotiations follow a lawsuit filed by Kemp’s office against Bottoms over Atlanta’s mask mandate, arguing that only the state could make that call and that the local ordinance was “unenforceable.” A Fulton County judge on Thursday ordered the two into mediation ahead of next week’s court hearing.
Also on Saturday, Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff said he had gone into self-quarantine after his wife, a doctor with Emory University, contracted the coronavirus. Ossoff was tested Saturday and is awaiting results, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Georgia Department of Public Health reported a total of 165,188 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at 2:50 p.m. Saturday. That's 3,787 more than was reported at the same time Friday.
Georgia also reported 3,495 deaths so far from COVID-19, 53 more that reported Friday. In addition, the state reported 17,029 hospitalizations — 277 more than the day before — and 3,158 admissions to intensive-care units.
No information is available from Georgia about how many patients have recovered.
Counties in or near metro Atlanta continue to have the highest number of positives. Three counties passed milestones Saturday: Gwinnett topped 15,000 total cases, DeKalb topped 11,000 cases, and Cobb topped 10,000 cases, all for the first time.
Fulton County: 15,649 cases — 428 new
Gwinnett County: 15,134 cases — 333 new
DeKalb County: 11,025 cases — 258 new
Cobb County: 10,009 cases — 292 new
Hall County: 4,845 cases — 56 new
Counties in or near metro Atlanta also continue to have the most deaths from COVID-19. The lone exception is Dougherty County, the site of Georgia's first major outbreak.
Fulton County: 372 deaths
Cobb County: 287 deaths
Gwinnett County: 216 deaths
DeKalb County: 206 deaths
Dougherty County: 162 deaths
As of Saturday, Georgia has administered nearly 1.6 million COVID-19 tests, with about 13 percent of those tests the less reliable ones used to detect antibodies.
For the more reliable test for the virus itself, 10.7 percent of tests came back positive. For the less reliable test for antibodies, 6.1 percent came back positive. The overall positive rate was about 10.1 percent.
As more Georgians were tested over the last few weeks, positive percentages for both the virus test and tests overall have inched upward. On July 6, the percentage of tests overall that came back positive was only 8.7 percent.
All Georgia statistics are available on the state's COVID-19 website.
Globally, more than 15.8 million people have been infected by COVID-19, and more than 641,000 people have died, Johns Hopkins University reported Saturday.
In the United States, more than 4.1 million people have been infected and more than 146,000 people have died from COVID-19 as of Saturday. The U.S. has only about 4 percent of the world's population but more confirmed cases and deaths than any other country.